HLTA meets with Tourism Chairs: Explanation of HB 2010
On Thursday the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association’s Board of Directors had the opportunity to hear from Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology Chair, Glenn Wakai, and House Tourism Chair, Richard Onishi, as they updated us on key tourism related measures at the legislature. The conversation was lively and engaging as they shared their respective chambers position on our major priority issues such as transient vacation rentals, homelessness, the establishment of an airports corporation, and additional taxes on the hospitality industry.
During the conversation one of the major bills that was brought up and discussed was House Bill 2010 which amongst other things would primarily redistribute the transient accommodations tax revenue from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to different agencies that deal directly with similar issues that HTA grapples with. During his presentation, Senator Wakai took the time to really underscore the point that contrary to what some have been saying, this measure will not be taking away any of HTA’s allotted marketing funds that would cripple marketing campaigns of HVCB and its neighbor island chapters. He stated that the Senate’s intention is to transfer funds and the many mandates that HTA has accumulated over the years to the departments and agencies that have the capabilities of working on these tourism-related issues, such as the Department of Land and Natural Resource, the Department of Education, and the counties, to name a few. This will allow HTA the ability to put a laser-like focus on marketing and conducting valuable research and reports. For a better understanding of the reallocation of these funds and the intent of this measure, please see the Senate’s April 4th News Release which can be viewed HERE. The House position on the other hand, according to Onishi, is that they believe the status quo should remain with the amount of money that is currently given to HTA. Given the disagreement in both chambers on this sensitive issue, I believe it’s safe to say that there will be some restoration of funds to HTA with marketing a major objective.
We convey our mahalo to both Tourism Chairs for taking the time to meet with our Board of Directors and we applaud them for their yeoman work in assisting us at the State Capitol.
Hospitality Industry Pau Hana, honoring ABC Stores
A big mahalo to everyone who joined us at our HIP event at BASALT @ Duke’s Lane Market Wednesday evening. My staff and I were very happy to see so many of you come out to network with one another at the featured ABC Stores venue. That evening we presented ABC Stores President and CEO Paul Kosasa and his team with the Kahiau Award, in acknowledgement of their 54 years of dedication and commitment to the hospitality industry. In that time, it has become one of Hawaii’s most beloved convenience stores for visitors and residents. Additionally, Paul is one of the most active executives in Waikiki, in volunteering his time and efforts to greatly assist organizations such as HLTA, WIA, and WBIDA.
ABC Stores pride themselves for being The Stores with Aloha and always take care of their customers and 1700+ employees. Today, there are 76 stores throughout the Pacific from Hawaii to Guam, Saipan and Las Vegas, including new dining venues such as Island Gourmet Markets, Island Country Markets, Honolua Store and Dukes Lane Market & Eatery. I’d like to give a special thank you to Paul and his team at BASALT for hosting such a wonderful evening. We hope to see you all at our next HIP event!
Generational Mentoring Mixer
At the beginning of the year, we launched the 2nd iteration of our Generational Mentoring program where fifteen general managers were paired with fifteen students from the tourism and hospitality schools of the following universities: University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, University of Hawai‘i West Oahu, Hawai‘i Pacific University, and Brigham Young University Hawai‘i. This past Tuesday, Art Sarkissian of Here and Now Consulting joined me in bringing together the mentors, mentees, and professors involved with this year’s program for a networking mixer at the HLTA office. The hour was filled with food and fellowship as the students got the opportunity to converse with their peers and most importantly, meet the select group of general managers partaking in the program. We look forward to seeing the relationships between mentor and mentee flourish as we complete the second half of the program. The Generational Mentoring graduation will take place on June 6th, the location is TBD.
Hospitality’s Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs: Negotiate LIKE A BOSS
Thursday night, our HYPE Committee facilitated Negotiate LIKE A BOSS, a panel to help our burgeoning young professional group advocate for themselves to the best of their ability. Trevor Bracher did a great job of moderating the panel, which featured the talented Corey Campbell (Akamai Training), Kazu Hayashida (Hilton Worldwide), and Michael Paulin (Paulin Group). These four speakers lent their expertise and professional opinion on a wide range of topics, from salary negotiation to preparation strategies. The sold out event, held at RAVISH at THE MODERN HONOLULU, was the third in the HYPE Committee’s LIKE A BOSS education series. I want to acknowledge all the hard work of our HYPE Committee, especially Allied Chair Marissa Ross and Lodging Chair Keri Brown. We are all looking forward to celebrating the 2nd anniversary of HYPE with them in June.
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